An investigation has led to the conclusion that some high street retailers are charging women nearly twice as much as men for identical products.
The Times reports that clothes, beauty products and toys for women and girls is on average higher than equivalent products marketed specifically to men and boys.
The investigation by the Times found that retail giants such as Tesco, Boots and Amazon were guilty of charging more for products branded for and marketed to females.
It notes that Tesco charged double the price of a pack of ten disposable razors which were pink and aimed at women, compared to the men’s equivalent.
However it is not just adults who pay the price, as children’s scooters which were pink cost £5 more than their blue counterparts in Argos.
Despite having the same waist and length of the men’s version, Levis 501 jeans for women were on average 46 percent more expensive.
As part of the investigation, the Times “analysed hundreds of products”, comparing versions marketed to women, compared to those marketed to men.
There was only one example of a product of which the boys’ version was more expensive than the girls’, sets of underwear.
Conservative MP Maria Miller, who leads the women and equalities committee, told the Times: “It is unacceptable that women face higher costs for the same products just because they are targeted at women. Retailers have got to explain why they do this. At a time when we should be moving towards a more de-gendered society, retailers are out of step with public opinion.”
The additional costs were labelled a “sexist surcharge” by Sam Smethers of the Fawcett Society, which campaigns for women’s rights.
“We need more gender-neutral options and an end to these rip-off practices.”
Other examples are given in the Times report, including French pen manufacturer, Bic, which has a range of “for her” pens, which are more expensive than the normal range.